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A Christian’s Voice From Raymore – October 16, 2009

Does Your Heart Burn Within You?

Recently, as I was doing my daily bible reading, I reflected upon the account in Luke 24 of Jesus walking on the road to Emmaus with two of his disciples. After these disciples finally recognized that it was Jesus that they had been talking to and he “vanished” from their presence, they made an observation to one another. Verse 32 contains the words they spoke, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

As I reflected on that verse, I engaged in a little self-analysis. I asked myself, “How long has it been since my heart has burned within me as I have contemplated Jesus and my service in His kingdom? Consider with me, dear reader:

Does your heart burn within you when you open the Scriptures?

There are many sources of information in our world today. With the immediacy and breadth of the internet, you can “google” anything, it seems, and receive back tons of information in a matter of seconds. Some of this information is reliable and some is not. If one is not careful, he can allow the internet’s abundance of data to stymie him and hinder productive investigation and growth.

The Scriptures provide for us “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3). They do not contain all that Jesus did or said (John 20:30-31; 21:25) or all of the acts of all of the apostles or even all of the issues of all of the churches. In the Scriptures however we have the account of man’s fall and man restored. From Genesis to Revelation we have the greatest story ever told. We have many treasures to uncover that bring us to know our wonderful God, the tremendous love he has for his people and how “longsuffering” and patient he is when we turn our backs on him. We read of the wonderful place that he has prepared for us to inhabit once this life is over. Truly our hearts should burn within us as we read. Our hearts should burn within us as we set our daily agendas to prioritize the reading of those uplifting, growth-encouraging, faith-building words of Scripture.

Does your heart burn within you when you contemplate opportunities to serve?

God has given us a heart to serve (Matthew 20:26-28; 24:36-40) . There are those around us who are hurting. There are those around us who are looking for direction and guidance in their lives. There are cultural factors that create stress that have an impact on the happiness and well-being of people. If you are a young person who was raised in a two-parent home, where God’s word and His model for the family is respected and followed, you know that you have friends who do not have those benefits.

Does your heart burn within you as you look upon the lost condition of those who do not place their faith and confidence in Jesus? Do you weep like Jeremiah did over the sin of his people (Jeremiah 8:18-9:3; 13:15-17)? Do you empathize with Ezekiel in his concern for that his people were profaning the holiness of God among the nations around them (read such passages as Ezekiel 36:22-38).

I encourage you to seek out these opportunities to be a listener, a friend, a counselor, and an encourager. You will receive blessings for “giving” in this way. You will feel a sense of satisfaction and you will be a source for “spreading the “fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.“ “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15).

Does your heart burn within you when you anticipate the greatest of all family reunions?

Have you gone to family reunions where you felt like a stranger? A couple of factors may have caused you to feel this way: you had not associated with these people regularly and you did not have a lot in common with them, other than the family tie. And so it may be that as the time of the family reunion approaches, you dread the prospects of attending.

Contrast this bond with physical family to the bond with your spiritual family. Jesus expressed it this way, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50).

As you anticipate that greatest of all reunions in heaven, does your heart burn within you. Death may have separated you from loved ones but you can take joy in the fact that you will see them again in that wonderful family reunion in heaven. I am comforted by the words of the song I AM a Poor Wayfaring Stranger, “…I am going there to see my Father, I’m going there no more to roam …” I lost my dad to bladder cancer in 2006 but I can rejoice in the fact that he has gone “there” and I will be reunited with him, (my small “f” father) and with God (my capital “F” Father).

I encourage you to read often the descriptions of heaven in the Scriptures and allow it to move you and motivate you to greater services. Allow your heart to burn within you as you identify those in need of encouragement and reach out to them. Allow your heart to burn within you as you consider how “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15) and all the wonderful depth of meaning in the statement.

Thanks for reading with me and please resolve to be a positive influence in another’s life today.

— Randy Sexton